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Incentives for making Green Homes

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The Government of Maharashtra is committed and has many plans to encourage Green Homes, by giving both financial and non-financial incentives to these projects. “We will give top priority in giving environmental clearances to green projects. We would be announcing reduction in the consent fees for buildings that follow green house norms, and in some cases even waive it. Besides, we will give a longer duration of consent validity for such buildings,” said Valsa R Nair Singh, Secretary (Environment), Government of Maharashtra, at a conference on Green Homes, organized by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), part of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Besides the many other advantages, examples of green homes across the country have shown that they lead to energy saving of 40-50% and over 20-30% saving of fresh water thus leading to a win-win situation for everyone. The market potential for green building materials, equipments and services in India is $100 billion by 2015. There is a 2-5% additional cost for green buildings, but not only does one recover the costs in just a year because of the various savings incurred by such homes, over the years one actually profits from Green Homes.

Dr Prem C Jain, Chairman, Indian Green Building Council said, “About 60% of the buildings that will exist in the country in 2030, have not even been made yet. The challenge is to make most of them green. The differential price for green homes is coming down and with greater implementation of green homes across the country it will cost the same as a normal home. Why shouldn’t one want a Green Home? Green Homes will also help the nation achieve its goals of reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Over 150,000 homes are being constructed as per IGBC green home rating system. This was drafted under the leadership of architect Sharukh Mistry. Throughout the country in various climate zones over a 1000 buildings are coming up with footprint of 630 million square feet. Besides this, IGBC is also working with GoM in drafting environmental guidelines for Area Development Projects (ADP).

With the obvious benefits of green homes, there is a need to accelerate its execution and implementation in the country. The government has to give financial incentives to green homes and subsidize private and community solar and wind energy projects to propagate their spread with regulations that stipulate a little area in every large projects for solar and wind power. There is also need to promote this awareness further through specialized educational courses in environmental engineering to create requisite skill-set.

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